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Schreber's Law

Jurisprudence and Judgment in Transition

Peter Goodrich

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Reappraises – and reinstates – the jurisprudence of Judge Schreber, looking beyond his mental health to his distinguished contribution to legal theory

Daniel Paul Schreber (1842–1911) was a senior German judge and jurist. He formulated a unique juridical theology of private life and developed a critical account of oikonomia, the practice of governance and administration. But his theoretical work was largely ignored due to his mental illness and his desire to be a woman in a time inhospitable to transitions. Now, Schreber’s Law looks beyond Judge Schreber's mental health to his reappraise his distinguished contribution to legal theory.

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Contents

List of Figures
Preface and Credits
1. Introduction: on the Case
2. Miscarriages of Transmission: Body, Text and Method
3. Silencing Schreber: Freud, Lacan, Rejection and Foreclosure
4. Morbus Juridicus: Crisis and Critique of Law
5. Impure Law: The Metaphysics of Play-With-Human-Beings
6. The Judge’s New Body: Am I that (Woman)?
7. Conclusion: Laughing in the Void
Bibliography
Index.

About the Author

Peter Goodrich is Professor of Law at Cardozo School of Law, New York and Visiting Professor in the School of Social Science at NYU Abu Dhabi. He was the founding dean of the Department of Law at Birkbeck, University of London, where he was also the Corporation of London Professor of Law. He has written extensively in legal history and theory, law and literature and semiotics and has authored 12 books. He is the executive editor of the journal Law and Literature (Taylor & Francis), and was the founding editor of Law and Critique (Springer). His recent books include Schreber’s Law: Jurisprudence and Judgment in Transition (Edinburgh University Press, 2018) and Legal Emblems and the Art of Law (Cambridge University Press, 2013). To this coruscating and lucifugous erudition can be added co-writing and co-producing the award winning documentary Auf Wiedersehen: 'Til we Meet Again (Diskin Films, 2012).

Reviews

What a ride! In this learned, funny, and breathtakingly virtuoso performance, one wild and crazy but eminently sane lawyer rescues another wild and crazy but eminently sane lawyer from those 'doctors' --including Freud, Lacan and God-- who would unman him by 'curing' him of the desire to occupy the body and spirit of a woman so that he might thereby leave behind the iron logic of the law and enter into a saving 'state of voluptuousness and openness of soul'. Absolutely exhilarating.

- Stanley Fish

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